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KALORAMA PARK CAMPAIGN: About 70 volunteers turned out, despite temperatures in the 50s, at the annual Kalorama Park cleanup day earlier this month, organized by the Fund for Kalorama Park. The Fund recently completed a master plan for $250,000 worth of improvements to the park and has launched a fund-raising campaign to help carry out the plan. Contributors can buy a commemorative brick or just send a donation to Fund for Kalorama Park, P.O. Box 21397, Washington, D.C. 20009.


GEORGETOWN HOUSE TOUR: Twelve Georgetown homes and their gardens are included in this yearís Georgetown House Tour, a benefit for community outreach programs at St. Johnís Episcopal Church. Six of the homes will be open each day, April 27-28, from noon to 5 p.m. The traditional afternoon tea , featuring homemade tea sandwiches and sweets, will be served from 2 to 6 p.m. at St. Johnís Parish Hall, 3240 O St. NW, and the cost is included in the tour ticket price. Free parking will be available across the street from the church. Individual tickets cost $30 per day or $50 for both days, with group discounts available. For more information about the tour, call (202) 338-2287.


ZOO PLANS UPGRADES: National Zoo officials have an ambitious five-year plan to renovate facilities, including facilities for some animals, and to upgrade the Harvard Street bridge. The zoo is requesting $130 million from the federal government for the improvements and expects to raise the remaining $50 million it needs from private sources. Community groups are expected to receive a presentation of the plans April 29 at the zoo. Among the plans, the zoo hopes to build new houses for its elephants and bears and to increase the number of male elephants in the zooís herd to enhance breeding. The zoo currently has six female elephants and two males.

HOUSE TOUR BENEFITS HOLT: Holt House, the 1810 historic property located within the National Zoo grounds, will get $5,000 of the April 21 Adams Morgan House Tour proceeds to allow it to match a grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation to be used toward developing a plan for its preservation. The Kalorama Citizens Association, which sponsored the tour, recently voted to support the contribution to Holt House at the suggestion of local preservationist Wanda Bubriski.


TRANSPORTATION ISSUES: D.C. Division of Transportation officials will present details of the construction project on 16th Street NW, between Whittier Street and Portal Drive, at 6 p.m. April 25 before a general town hall meeting on Ward 4 transportation issues gets underway at 7. The meeting, one of a series of monthly issues-oriented meetings sponsored by Ward 4 Councilman Adrian Fenty, will be held at Truesdell Elementary School, 800 Ingraham St. NW. DDOT Director Dan Tangherlini is expected to attend the meeting.


TURKEY THICKET EXPANSION: Department of Parks and Recreation plans are moving forward to build a new recreation center, including an indoor swimming pool, at Turkey Thicket in Michigan Park. Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Mary Baird-Currie, who represents the single-member district that includes the park, said a "straw vote" conducted at a special community meeting April 12 selected one of two plans for the center that were created by Devrouax and Purnell Architects/Planners P.C. "Nevertheless, the community continues to have concerns [about the designs]...and the inability to change was the issue," Baird-Currie wrote April 17 in a letter to Parks and Recreation Director Neil Albert. Staffing and security issues also have been raised by neighborhood residents. The new recreation center, which will be built adjacent to Brookland Elementary School and front on Michigan Avenue NE, is scheduled to be completed by the end of summer in 2003.


ANNUAL MARKET DAY: The annual Market Day festival to benefit Capitol Hillís nonprofit Friendship House is sc heduled for May 5 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Seventh Street SE, adjacent to Eastern Market. The usual mix of merchandise and food vendors, along with live entertainment, is expected, with funds raised to help Friendship House continue providing social services to the neighborhood.

ANC VACANCY: Advisory Neighborhood Commission 6B is seeking a new commissioner to represent single-member district 6B-06, located south of Lincoln Park between Ninth and 14th streets SE. Petitions are available from the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics and may be circulated through May 6. The position was vacated with the resignation of Commissioner Ann Black. For more information about seeking the position, call the elections board at (202) 727-2525.


HOUSING PROTEST CONTINUES: Members of the Deanwood Gardens Alliance have joined other civic organizations, religious groups and the areaís Advisory Neighborhood Commissions in opposing plans by D.C. Habitat for Humanity to construct 53 homes on back-filled wetlands at 55th and Clay streets NE. The Alliance joined others April 18 at a prayer meeting and candlelight vigil at Hughes Memorial United Methodist Church to protest the planned housing project. Opponents contend that Habitatís attempt to provide the area with "affordable housing" will instead create a neighborhood of substandard housing in an area where previous housing had to be demolished.

HEALTH CONCERNS: At-Large City Council members Phil Mendelson and Carol Schwartz are expected to attend a public hearing on environmental health issues April 24, sponsored by the River Terrace Community Organization. The meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. at River Terrace Elementary School at 34th and Dix streets NE, is being held to allow neighborhood residents to publicly air their concerns about deleterious health effects of living near the cityís Benning Road trash transfer station and the Potomac Electric Power Co.ís Benning Road generating plant. River Terrace residents conducted a neighborhood health survey last fall, aided by local environmentalists, and recently called for the PEPCO plant and the trash transfer station to be closed.


AUDITOR FORGIVES PAST ANC 8A PENALTY: Citing a finding by the inspector general "that there was no Ďcriminalityí in the payment of $4,712 to ANC 8Aís previous chairperson," D.C. Auditor Deborah K. Nichols said she "will not further penalize ANC 8A for its noncompliance in fiscal years 1996 through 1999" with D.C. law. A previous audit of the ANCís financial activities for those fiscal years found that more than $30,000 had been spent without adequate supporting documentation or approval by a majority of the ANC's commissioners. As a result, the auditor was withholding a portion of each of the ANCís quarterly allotments to force repayment of the money to the D.C. Treasury. While those payments to date total only $5,737.11 toward the ordered $30,000 repayment, Nichols said her office determined that the ANC also had lost more than $54,000 in quarterly allotments that it could not claim for its communityís use due to its noncompliance with financial reporting laws from fiscal 1996 through 1999.

Copyright 2002, The Common Denominator